Richy Werenski Shakes Off Media-Contrived Wristband Controversy

Richy Werenski 3M Open
Richy Werenski looks over a putt on the first green during the final round of the 3M Open on July 26, 2020 at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota. Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

For the second time in his career, Richy Werenski was in the final group – this time at the 3M Open in Blaine, Minnesota. Blaine is not far from where George Floyd died in the hands of police.

His first time in the final group, Richy lost in a playoff at the Barracuda Championship. That event is next week.

This past Sunday, Richy struggled with his swing early and never felt comfortable but still managed to shoot a one-under par 70, aided by a 3-under back nine. He lost two balls in the water and had a putt for par hang on the lip for an eternity. Those three strokes were the difference makers, as Richy finished two strokes behind eventual winner Michael Thompson.

For those of us back home in western Massachusetts, we watched in anticipation, including a viewing party for members of the Orchards Golf Club where Richy and his family are members.

Richy Werenski 3M Open Blue Lives Matter
A detail of Richy Werenski of the United States’s ‘Blue Lives Matter’ wristband on the 18th green during the final round of the 3M Open on July 26, 2020 at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota. Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

It was not Richy’s play, however, that was noticed by one member of the media on Sunday. It was Werenski’s ‘Blue Lives Matter’ wristband that got the attention of this reporter. He apparently approached the PGA Tour during the final round, requesting to extract quotes from Richy to boost the media-contrived controversy. The PGA Tour, however, refused the request.

(Note: After an investigation, we found that the reporter in question reached out to the PGA Tour, not the Golf Channel. We apologize for this error. The above paragraph originally read: “He apparently approached The Golf Channel during the final round with the goal of creating controversy. The Golf Channel reporter, however, refused the request.”)

The story did not end there. Fox News published a major headline on its website, and USA Today’s GolfWeek ran a story as well, questioning Richy’s choice of wristband.

Having known Richy since he was 10, he is the last person who wants to make any kind of political statement. He is as straight-laced as they come, focusing only on trying to become a PGA Tour winner.

I can not imagine posting a top-3 finish in a PGA Tour event, and having a “reporter” question your wristband choice. Yet Richy had to endure these gotcha-type questions. I am told, however, he has the strong backing of players and the PGA Tour, which is understandable.

For the record, Richy has been wearing the ‘Blue Lives Matter’ wristband since his days on the old Web.com Tour over six years ago. He wears it proudly because many in his family have served as police officers. He wears other jewelry in support of his family’s involvement in law enforcement as well. That will not change no matter how much the media attempts to bully him.

Richy Werenski 3M Open
Richy Werenski tees off on hole number two during the final round of the 3M Open golf tournament at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota, on July 26, 2020. Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Bottomline, Richy is playing some of the best golf of his career and now stands 70th on the FedExCup list with two events to go before the playoffs. He will be at TPC Boston (Norton, Mass) in a few weeks and it’s very likely Richy will be sporting the same ‘Blue Lives Matter’ wristband he’s been wearing for years. There will be no shaking this kid.

(Note: The original article included a sub-section with a sub-heading titled Doxxed by Golf Digest? This portion has been removed, and will be published as a standalone post. The new post will feature more context including commentary from both sides.)

The opinions expressed are those of the writers and not Pro Golf Weekly.

1 COMMENT

  1. Jay—Your “essay” betrays your paranoia and unrelenting embrace of victimhood. How do you know the “”reporter’ in question” wasn’t simply curious about Richy’s rationale for wearing the wristband? And how would you feel about being described as the “supposed” publisher of Western Mass Golf?

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